RENTON, Wash. — Jacob Hollister has performed well during the Seattle Seahawks’ training camp. However, he is more than ready to show what he can do during a preseason game.
The Seahawks tight end and former star at Mountain View High School in Bend did not play in the Seahawks’ preseason opener last week while nursing a groin injury. However, Hollister said he is healthy and hopes to make his Seattle debut Sunday when the Seahawks face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 of the preseason schedule.
“I do hope to play. I want to be out there,” Hollister said Thursday after practice. “I’m really excited. Every day out at practice and the games is an opportunity to show your teammates and coaches that they can trust you. That’s what I’m hoping for on Sunday, to get a chance to do that.”
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Hollister has caught the eye of the coaching staff with his versatility. He has lined up as a pass-catching option, in the slot position and out wide while displaying speed and an athleticism to separate from defenders. Most important, he can catch the football.
Hollister, 25, said his days as a quarterback in high school and playing various roles in different offenses at Wyoming and with the New England Patriots helped develop his versatility. He said he even briefly played at running back during training camp.
“Something I’ve learned in the NFL is the more you can do, the better,” Hollister said. “I want to be known as a football player and a guy who can do a lot of different things. I’m really happy that the coaches have been able to see that.”
Hollister was tied for the team lead with four catches during the Seahawks’ scrimmage game Aug. 3. He posted back-to-back grabs of 20 and 16 yards to help set up his team’s first touchdown in the game.
Hollister is currently competing at tight end against Will Dissly and Nick Vannett. Former Oregon star Ed Dickson is recovering from knee surgery and may not be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll likes Hollister’s quickness and said he brings different abilities to the position.
“Jake has done a really nice job for us. We’re really excited about his contribution,” Carroll said recently. “He’s got some different elements to his play that really accents and helps us at that spot.”
The Seahawks acquired Hollister in a trade with the Patriots in April. Hollister, who signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2017, caught eight passes for 94 yards while appearing in 23 games in New England. Hollister played primarily on special teams and did not get many reps on offense because of the presence of Rob Gronkowski, one of the best tight ends in NFL history.
Hollister’s level of performance is not anywhere near the now-retired Gronkowski yet, but he has displayed the quickness that has impressed Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
“Oh man, he’s quick as a cat,” Wilson said after the scrimmage game Aug. 3. “He’s catching the ball extremely well, he’s getting open … he comes in with great professionalism, great vision of the game, he gets open, he knows how to separate, got great speed, he’s doing a great job for us.”
Though he did not play much with New England, Hollister was a member of the Patriots when they appeared in the past two Super Bowls.
He said the opportunities those Super Bowl runs brought during his first two seasons were ones he will not forget.
“You learn what it takes to get there — a lot of hard work,” Hollister said. “I’m really excited to do that work with this team. These guys work their butts off and I’m excited to hopefully get there with this team.”